The single conifer, Podocarpus
polystachyus (Phylum Pinophyta), found locally in mangroves is
strictly speaking, a coastal species, more often found in beaches or
rocky shores. Conifers are plants which produce seed but have no
flowers, instead developing their reproductive structures on cones
or strobili (singular, strobilus).
Various parts of Southeast Asia to New Guinea. Trees 1-20 m tall;
bark reddish brown, narrowly fissured; leaf blades long and narrow
in young plants, narrow and long or oval (6-13 by 3-10 cm) in older
plants; male plants produce clusters of cream-coloured cones which
shed whitish, powdery pollen; female plants produce a highly
modified cone consisting of a fleshy receptacle and ovule (seed
precursor); after fertilisation, the ovule becomes the seed and the
receptacle enlarges and becomes shiny red. Sandy beaches, rocky
coasts and mangroves.
The timber is commercially exploited (podo wood), the tree planted
as an ornamental on roadsides or parks or can be grown as bonsai.